This year, Audi factory drivers Mike Rockenfeller and Marcel Fassler raced for Corvette Racing alongside Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Twelve Hours of Sebring. As you probably know, things went pretty well for Corvette Racing at both Sebring and Daytona, which are just two examples of this unlikely partnership working out for the two entities involved.
In addition to lending Rockenfeller and Fassler to Corvette Racing, the American team also lent Garcia to Audi team WRT for April’s Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup race at Monza and will send Magnussen to race for WRT in the Blancpain GT round at Circuit Paul Ricard. The partnership came about due to the relationship between Corvette Racing Program Manager Doug Fehan and Audi Motorsport boss Dr. Wolfgang Ulrich, Fehan told Sportscar365 in a recent interview, and was driven by both his and Ullrich’s love for racing.
“We all have an appreciation for the business, the sport, and I think the thing that really drives it is that [Dr.] Ulrich and I share a common goal in that we really care about the guys that drive these cars,” Fehan said. “We know the struggle that they have in finding good rides, in finding good competition, in finding success, and the enjoyment that it brings to them.
“When you share those kind of common goals, relationships build and it results in what you see.”
The informal arrangement has already delivered success, with Fassler teaming with Corvette drivers Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin for GT Le Mans class honors at Daytona and Sebring.
In Garcia’s Blancpain GT appearance, he raced alongside former F1 driver alongside Will Stevens and Nico Mueller to finish fifth. He will be back in the team’s Audi R8 LMS for this weekend’s Blancpain race at Silverstone in the United Kingdom.
“At the end of the day, the WRT bosses saw that if we have Rocky and Marcel doing those races, why not have Corvette guys do some with them?” Garcia told Sportscar365. “There are so many drivers competing in that category, it’s not easy to find drivers available so they looked on the other side of the Pond here in the States.”